Wednesday, March 10, 2010

30 Days to 10 years younger--10 minute tips. Tip 9: Loop on a scarf

You do realize that big square silk twill print scarves (read: the classic Hermès carré) are out of style and very lady-who-lunches, right? Which means that even if you've coveted one of these iconic scarves for years, this is not the year to buy one.

Mind you, this is not to knock Hermes scarves. I love them. I own some. But they're not the current look. So for the moment, mine are staying in their iconic orange boxes, except for when I take them out and gloat over them like Gollum with his ring.

In case you haven't noticed, the current scarf look is:
  • long and narrow, while the classic Hermes is square
  • textured, while Hermes is smooth
  • interestingly woven, where Hermes is a tight even twill
  • gauzy, while Hermes is opaque
  • arty/bohemian, while Hermes is traditional and bourgeois
These long, gauzy scarves are not only young and hip, they'll cover your neck, which, if you're over 40, might not be your best feature. So. Somewhere in your collection of scarves you should have something long enough to wrap around your neck a couple of times.

If you don't, I'd advise you to get one. In fact, get two. One for all of your winter clothes, and one to bring you into spring. Say, a dark to medium toned one with an interesting texture, and a livelier one featuring a lovely color or two, maybe some metallic fiber in the weave, some sheerness, some interesting trim--in short, something novel.

The great part of this suggestion is that picking up a couple of scarves really will take you ten minutes. These scarves are available all over the place, from Barney's to the guy with a pushcart on the sidewalk selling scarves for ten dollars.

Right now I'm wearing the heck out of a purple scarf with silver lame threads that I bought for my daughter. It cost $20. It reminds me of this Tara Matthews $550 number from Net-a-porter.

Yes, that's $550. See? If you want to go nuts, you can buy a scarf that's even more expensive than an Hermes--which will just show the people at Hermes, won't it?

Just for fun, let's have a look at some insanely expensive scarves. It'll give you a feel for the best that's out there.

Barney's is showing some beautiful double-layered silk chiffon scarves. They're also massive--52 inches square--with gorgeous prints.

This is the Swash 26 "Fruits de Mer" scarf. At $410, it'll have Hermes sitting up and paying attention. This little thumbnail doesn't do it justice, so click here to see the print up close.

Another Barney's scarf I love is this multi-shade scarf in a palette of neutrals. This kind of print would be a fantastic way to get through the last couple of months of dreary slush--a wonderfuly transitional piece, because of its lightness and texture. Handmade in Nepal for Arman Diradourian, it's $225.

Saks has Alexander McQueen's purple leopard print chiffon scarf.

I don't really need to say anything here, do I?

After all,

leopard print

pretty much says it all.

Unfortunately, it costs $380.

So. Onwards.

Banana Republic has this wool/silk ombre scarf in a gorgeous shade of green for $59.50. It also comes in shades of yellow and a nice neutral putty shade.

Bluefly has everything from $189 silks from Diane Von Furstenburg to this interesting silver chevron knit fringe scarf from Sayami for $27.

Anthropologie has a great selection of scarves, and, for a piquant change of pace, their prices are better than I thought they'd be.

The "Shadowed Vine" scarf on the left is $28. I love how they show it on top of the ruffled, textured blouse.

Their "Sky Rockets" scarf on the right is $38. I love the pink mixed with coral. It also comes in purple.

Now that you've seen some high-end scarves currently in stores for spring, you have an idea of what to look for at the affordable store of your choice. The Gap, Old Navy, and Target all have scarves, not to mention the huge selection availabe at T. J. Maxx, Marshall's, and Nordstrom Rack. Not to mention the kiosks at the airport, and the aforementioned guy with a cart on the sidewalk.

Trust me--there's a scarf out there you can afford. Just don't make it a printed silk square.

Because no matter how classic, ladies-who-lunch, French, or Grace Kelly you might think you look in it ...

You'll probably just end up looking like an old queen.


Audi of Fashion for Nerds uploaded a video on how to tie long scarves. To see it, click here.

Bloggers discussing Hermes scarves include Meg Fairfax Fielding at Pigtown Design and Natural History of Passementerie.


  1. Great- more temptations....just after I've tried to kick my scarf addiction habit!! ~Chris Ann

  2. I have a load of those great long scarves, too. And I just got a gorgeous felted rose scarf at the american crafts council.

    thanks for the shout!

  3. Longer scarves are also great for dividing ones assets on a fuller figure, giving the appearance of a deep vee neck. Useful in preventing two from becoming one.

  4. Awesome. Love the Sky Rockets. I actually featured that in a fashion post.

  5. Right this minute?
    Old Navy, gauzy gray, with tassels.

    (Oh, and, if you need to unload those awful silk squares...)

  6. I love the look of scarves, but I don't have a very long neck so sometimes they look too bulky on me.

    I have some that are thinner, that work better except by the end of the day leave me feeling a little constricted.

    I think I'm being difficult.


Gentle Readers:

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xxx, Poppy.